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Budgeting

4 Tools That Make Budgeting Easy

These tools can save you time and money.

With more than 20 million users, Mint is the big kahuna among budgeting tools. It tracks and categorizes expenditures automatically and creates a breakdown of where your money has gone. Plus, it’s free. But it’s not the only player.

Whereas Mint shows you where your money has gone, You Need a Budget is a more hands-on tool that makes you choose how to put your future earnings to work. You start by inputting your monthly income and assigning dollar amounts to various categories. The goal is to get you to spend last month’s paycheck for this month’s expenditures. The tool, accessed via the Web or mobile app, costs $5 a month, or $50 a year.

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For Level Money users, maintaining a budget comes down to a simple question: What can I afford to spend today? The free app uses your bank and credit card information to track expenses. You enter your income along with bills due and how much you’d like to set aside for savings. The app tells you what you can spend on a given day, or for a week or month.

ReadyForZero is a budgeting tool designed for one purpose: getting you out of debt. The site aggregates your obligations, from credit cards to student loans, and helps you create a customized repayment plan. The service (also available as a mobile app) tracks payment due dates, keeps tabs on your credit score and plots your repayment progress on a graph.

 

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